April 6 movement co-founder Ahmed Maher (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Founder of the influential April 6 movement, Ahmed Maher, charges that President Mohamed Morsi is attempting to push an "illegitimate" constitution through at any price – and as soon as possible.
Maher posted on his official Facebook page late Sunday that although the executive branch uses the excuse that they are complying with the March 2011 constitutional declaration stipulations by insisting the referendum be held on 15 December, he argues that that declaration has already been breached several times.
Many opposition forces and activists have denounced the draft constitution as "illegitimate," having been drawn up by a largely controversial Islamist constituent assembly, which saw fifteen – the majority of which were non-Islamist – of its 100 members withdraw.
Protests were sparked at the presidential palace in the Heliopolis suburb of Cairo when Morsi issued a constitutional declaration on 22 November that granted him sweeping powers and immunity. That decree was eventually cancelled last Saturday, but protests continue in order to push for a postponement or cancellation of the plebiscite and a drawing up of a more representative drafting assembly.
The National Salvation Front, an umbrella grouping of liberal, leftist and nationalist parties, led by three presidential candidates that ran at some point in the last elections: the head of the Constitution Party, Mohamed ElBaradei, Nasserist Hamdeen Sabbahi former Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa announced on Sunday its full rejection of the referendum, citing it as "farcical."